Great Exhibition, 1851: A sourcebook are
students and researchers new to the topic and particularly those who want to
teach the subject without resorting to hours of trawling through primary texts
to produce course material. So the book is primarily conceived as a teaching
aid, but it also offers numerous departure points for researchers in the history
of the Exhibition, and material culture more generally, and those working on
specific issues such as Britishimperialism, social class and the representation
of gender politics in the Victorian period. To a great degree
The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.
composed from whirring mass-produced,
machine-tooled elements, and later designs would be directly inspired by
his reverence for the bustling Pool of London, situated between London
and Tower Bridges.
Lewis proceeded to bluntly assert: ‘The Modern World is due almost
entirely to Anglo-Saxon genius – its appearance and its spirit. Machinery,
steam-ships, all that distinguishes externally our time, came far more from
here than anywhere else’. He also implicitly associated the new movement
with BritishImperialism when he wrote: ‘By mechanical inventiveness …
, etc., vol. IV (London, 1796), p. 165.
6 Barker, ‘Specification’, p. 165.
17 George Corner, The Panorama (Leicester Square): with Memoirs of
its Inventor, Robert Barker, and his Son, the Late Henry Aston Barker
(London: Robins, 1857), pp. 6–14.
18 Barker, ‘Specification’, pp. 166–7.
19 Barker, ‘Specification’, p. 167; my emphasis.
20 Corner, The Panorama, p. 7.
21 Denise Oleksijczuk, The First Panoramas: Visions of BritishImperialism
(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011), p. 5.
22 Garrison et
other European empires. For
Orientalism, MacKenzie, Orientalism: History, Theory and the Arts (Manchester, 1995).
4 John M. MacKenzie, The Empire of Nature: Hunting, Conservation and BritishImperialism
(Manchester, 1988) was one of the first books to give hunting scholarly notice, but
there have been many since, including important work by Jane Carruthers, Bernhard
Gissibl, Angela Thompsell and Vijaya Ramadas Mandala. Environmental interests
were developed further when I was co-ordinating editor of the journal Environment
and History from 2000 to
, instead of the ivory and ebony
ones to which we have grown accustomed, there is now a vogue for teak
ones of Burmese origin.’129 Elephants also appeared in other media such as
ceramics and Bakelite, sometimes in stylised Modernistic designs, but they
retained their imperial resonances. By the mid-1930s, the symbolism of the
elephant had, for some, shifted irrevocably. In George Orwell’s 1936 essay
‘Shooting an Elephant’, the elephant’s slow and painful death became a
metaphor for all he saw wrong with Britishimperialism and the subjugation of colonial subjects. Yet the
1867 and their exhibition at the beginning
of the following year is highly significant, since during the intervening period
two prominent events fuelled outrage and public debate concerning the Eyre
affair: first, in August 1867, Carlyle’s pamphlet, Shooting Niagra: And After? was
published,38 and second, in February 1868, Carlyle finished writing and submitted
to Parliament the petition of the Eyre Defence Committee.39 This period, in other
words, was one of persistent visible activity for the defenders of Edward John Eyre
and the cause of Britishimperialism. It
(eco)feminist interpellations of Chineseness in the work of Yuk King Tan,
Cao Fei, and Wu Mali
Jane Chin Davidson
with the evolution of Hong Kong’ itself.24 The Scotsman, Thomas Sutherland,
founded the original bank in 1865, after obtaining enormous capital wealth
from working at the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company
(P&O) in Hong Kong. The British shipping company moved maritime freight
consisting largely of opium from India to China. The lions are conceivably the
symbol of HSBC’s capitalist occupation of Hong Kong (after its 1841 ceding in
the first Opium War), a reminder of the way in which Britishimperialism was
founded on drug-pedaling leverage, considered
Stevens Curl, The Art and Architecture of Freemasonry (London, 1991) deals
exclusively with European and American freemasonry.
77 The most important recent study of imperial freemasonry is Jessica L. Harland-Jacobs,
Builders of Empire: Freemasonry and BritishImperialism, 1717–1827 (Chapel Hill, NC, 2007).
See also P.J. Rich, Chains of Empire: English Public Schools, Masonic Children, Historical
Causality and Imperial Clubdom (Washington, DC, 2015). There was a pioneering look
at imperial freemasonry in Ronald Hyam’s durable book, Britain’s Imperial Century
Ideals’, Victorian Literature and Culture, 20 (1993), 117–39.
86 Matthew Rowlinson summarizes this doubly inscribed paradox ‘as part of the prehistory of
a certain ideological construction’, in which Tennyson’s poem is ‘implicated in a colonialist
pedagogy that is in its essence nostalgic’ because it technically dates ‘from before it was
possible to speak of a Britishimperialism, and yet seems peculiarly to speak to and about
the twilight of that imperialism’. See Rowlinson, ‘The Ideological Moment of Tennyson’s
87 Charles Cameron senior was